Monday, August 13, 2012

Celebrating: Home Growns!

Celebrating: Home Growns!: Tomatoes, that is!  Is there anything more delicious than that 1st home grown tomato sandwich of the season?  Its amazing how something SO simple can be SO good! For me, the perfect sandwich is sliced tomatoes slightly salted and peppered on white bread thickly spread with mayo. And, if you don't have a little tomato juice dripping off in your hand, you just haven't made it right!  On into the season I will change it up a bit, but that 1st one has to be just like that!  For me, that sandwich signals summer is coming!

From Eric's Garden!
I plant tomatoes every year in pots on my deck.  This year it is... Susan: 3 tomatos VERSES various critters and bugs -the rest that were on the vines!   I haven't had much luck this year, but the good news is that my BIL, Eric has! While they were on vacation this past week I fed their little cat, Chloe, and was given "carte blanche" of the garden.  The first day I picked a sackful, brought them home and tried to narrow down what I wanted to do with them.  I decided that since it was so hot, a bowl of gazpacho would be delightful.  So I got down the blender and prepared to get started.  Gazpacho is another one of those things that doesn't really require a recipe, so I opened up the crisper and started taking out veggies. Onions, bell pepper, cucumber and of course tomatos.  Cut and into the blender it all goes. I just used 1/4 of a cucumber since I'm just not a cucumber fan, however when I tasted it, all I could taste was cucumber, so I just started adding tomatos.  Finall got it to the consistency I wanted, added a bit of tabasco,  a squeeze of fresh lime a pour of EVOO, S & P,  gave it another whirl and  it was just like I wanted it to be!  Cool and refreshing. But, since I had to add more tomatoes than I had planned, I had depleted my stash and ended up with about half a gallon of gazpacho!    Good thing I like it!

So next time I went to feed Chloe, I had no choice but to raid the garden again! This time I knew exactly what I was going to do with my tomatoes. Fresh uncooked tomato sauce is one of my all time favorite summer meals.    My friend Becky on the Contessa board talked of her uncooked sauce several years ago and I have been making it ever since.  Its another one that requires no recipe - just let your tastebuds lead your mind!  Chopped tomato, red onion, bell pepper, capers, artichokes, cilantro or basil, top with EVOO and a little red wine vinegar and serve over a bowl of pasta.  You can also top it off with a little crumbled goat cheese or shaved parm.  Just whatever suits your mood at that moment!  No rules here!  I'm sure you've heard the expression "summer on a plate", well I think that expression was made just for this dish!

"Summer on a Plate"

I still have a few tomatoes left from my stash (thanks Eric for your green thumb), which just may turn into a fresh salsa this weekend!  I have a large bag of small tortillas that will make a great batch of chips.  Luckily my tomato cravings will get satisfied for a couple more months here in the south, as the local farmers markets have been well stocked. Tomato Basil soup is going to be my next great Tomato Caper!

Ya'll come back!

May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them Celebrate!  Psalm 64:10.

*Originally posted  July 12, 2012

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